“I seem to get sick more lately.”
This is another comment I hear frequently from stress management clients. Often our first call is punctuated by sniffling or coughing.
Clients list a range of physical symptoms such as more frequent colds, susceptibility to the flu, headaches and stomach aches. And, sometimes, serious diagnosed illnesses are in high gear due to the increased inflammation caused by stress.
Some amount of stress can be a good thing, but long term or chronic stress will eventually play havoc with the body. We know that stress is implicated in a range of disorders and diseases. There is no doubt that stress pollutes the body and diminishes the effectiveness of the immune system.
Further, when we are highly stressed, we tend to take poor care of ourselves. Routines around a good night’s sleep, healthy eating and exercise often fall to the wayside. When we are stressed, we often quit doing the things that bring us joy. Joy activates healthy immune responses and failure to find or spend time for the activities or people that matter to us comes at a cost. Consequently, the body becomes a dumping ground for toxicity.
Terri Lee Cooper MSc. RSW